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Thread: Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!

  1. #1
    Moderator
    ringosmomma's Avatar
    Real Name
    Michelle
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    Dan (Lead Singer)
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    It's Time

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!

    "If only you, you could see
    The darkest place that you could be
    Oh, maybe then you'd understand"
    Imagine Dragons
    Thief

    "I'm beautiful in my own way
    Cause God makes no mistakes
    I'm on the right track, baby
    I was born this way"
    Lady GAGA
    Born This Way

    "She can't remember a time
    When she felt needed
    If love was red then she was color blind
    All her friends
    Well they've been tried for treason
    And crimes that were never defined
    She's saying, 'Love is like a barren place
    And reaching out for human faith is
    It's like a journey I just don't have a map for.'"
    Savage Garden
    To The Moon And Back

    "I was born sick
    But I love it."
    Hozier
    Take Me To Church

    Welcome to my internal dialogue! Which contains a lot of lyrics. I literally was born sick. These tiny footprints were made when I was about 39 days old! Born three months premature, the doctor said it was unlikely that I would survive. After months of intensive care, I was sent home with some astronomical hospital bills.
    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    Growing up, my best friend was my Sony Walkman cassette player. My parents fell into the unfortunate cycle of violence that flows through abusive families. I think of myself as a survivor-not a victim of domestic violence. I learned early on that saying what was on your mind would guarantee being hit across the mouth. I was always the quiet one but loved and envied singer/songwriters who put little pieces of their souls into their work. The songs conveyed their hopes and dreams, their greatest loves and greatest fears, the highs and lows of their lives. Hopefully at a volume that would drown out the sounds of my parents fighting.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    I was a target for bullies all through school. It didn't get dangerous though, until high school. I had absolutely no intrest in boys, so both male and female bullies assumed that I was homosexual. You've heard of mean girls? The boys were worse! They hit, they kicked, they spit and sneered, "Stay away from my girlfriend, you lesbo!" When the threats escalated to wanting to kill me, I dropped out of school. My father later responded by throwing me out of the house. Probably, the only thing that saved my life was that he threw my dog out of the house too.
    I got a job at PetSmart where I could work as a dog trainer and take my dog to work. I tolerated my students but if anyone was in the lunchroom when I went to lunch, I would go eat in my car. I had no trust or faith in humans. I had a good job, good music, and a good dog. The music stopped when I lost my best friend when my dog suddenly died. I wanted to die too. My world was only black and white. Mostly black. I was numb.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    My Angel, Ringo. I will always be Ringo's momma because he saved my life.

    I cried every time I wasn't at work. I could almost not get out of bed. It took the companionship of another dog to get me back into the world. A customer brought in a very sick puppy. (There is a veterinarian inside PetSmart.) The vet said the pup was only five weeks old and probably could not be saved. I remembered hearing my parents say that they were told the same thing about me. So, I wrapped the puppy in a blanket and took her home. It was six weeks of very touch-and-go before the baby dog took a turn for the better. She also got me out of bed every few hours to take her outside.
    I wasn't a balanced person, however, I wanted my dog to be well balanced. I took her for walks in the park, we went to puppy preschool. I dressed her up at Halloween. My dog was unusually attracted to people. She would make eye contact and gravitate towards any stranger. I had some degree of stranger danger but reluctantly followed her. My trainer noticed my dog's calm and sweet personality and suggested therapy dog school.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    Dogtor Bindi hugging pet nurse, Jessica at work.

    I almost wasn't an Imagine Dragons fan! We went to school for months and it was a long commute. I bought several CD's to pass the time and one of the discs was Night Visions by Imagine Dragons. I had never heard of the group but I had heard I'm On Top Of The World and thought the music would cheer me up. Initially, it had the opposite effect. Dan Reynold's words spoke to me as those of a tortured soul. I turned the CD off after the song Bleeding Out because the thought of loving someone more than loving yourself reminded me of my old dog. I couldn't drive because I was crying.



    A new phone introduced me to social media and You-Tube. My first reaction to Demons and the depiction of domestic violence was to shut the phone off. I was shaken. I found myself thinking of Michael Jackson and how his demons killed him because he needed drugs to fall asleep. I thought of Robin Williams and how he also lost the battle with his demons. I had a moment of clarity when I realized that Dan was only trying to say that everyone has demons. He talked of the light in someone's eyes saving him. I logged onto Twitter and read Dan's deeply personal posts about his battles with depression. Instead of feeling worse, I felt somewhat better in knowing that other people know darkness. Someone else in this world "gets it" and was brave enough to talk about it openly.
    So I put the CD back in the CD player and was mesmerized by a kind of music that I had not heard before. I researched the songs and found out that Radioactive was written about overcoming depression. This fangirl now had a theme song. But the song that consistently got stuck in my mind was, It's Time. I wasn't sure that I heard the lyrics correctly and played them back. "The path to Heaven runs through miles of clouded Hell." I took it as a sign to keep Imagine Dragons' music playing and keep pushing on in life even on the days I felt like hell.


    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    My very first Firebreather project! My Twitter name is in the upper right hand corner.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    The day my heart almost stopped! Imagine Dragons followed me on Twitter!


    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    I don't have any baby pictures but my birth certificate is among this pyramid of photo in the Roots project on Twitter.

    My dog aced her therapy dog final exam with flying colors. We started right away visiting schools and nursing homes. I also volunteered to help teach the classes on my day off and help certify new therapy dogs. Before I knew it, I was spending seven days a week with people and dogs. Some days were extremely challenging like when a resident in a nursing home has a meltdown and yells loud curse words. Then there was the time the fire alarm went off during our visit. I put my hands over my dog's ears and rushed her outdoors. Dogtor Bindi's biggest audience was all of our local elementary school gathered in the gym for her visit. Believe it or not, larger audiences are easier than small ones. Bindi balanced a biscuit on her nose and proceeded to flip the biscuit in the air and catch it. The sound of over 300 children giggling was kind of awesome.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpgHello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpgHello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    Two of the most sad people in the world while having ice cream. I cried for two days before this event because I was anxious about eating with strangers. Dogtor Bindi got me through it and she got paid in ice cream!

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    One of my favorite dogs is Ivory the deaf Great Dane. Her pet parent lost her first dog when the puppy was only 12 months old. We talked tearfully over it for about an hour and I suggested she save a dog's life through rescue. Ivory was born deaf and a lot of dog breeders will drown the deaf ones. Ivory's pet parent decided that deafness should not define the dog and has done an amazing job training her dog with hand signals. Most of the time, Ivory is better behaved than the dogs that can hear. Her pet parent and I have gradually become friends even though I am very awkward sometimes.



    It took me a while to start to connect with the humans at the ends of the leashes. Class usually went well because dogs always understand me. There is an outline for class.
    One of my students suggested that I start a Facebook page. I was reluctant at first but Imagine Dragons have a Facebook page! People still sometimes confuse me on Facebook. Labels aren't that important to me but it was here that I discovered an asexual community, A.V.E.N. No, not plants reproducing by budding, but people who do not experience sexual attraction. It was one of the very few times in my life that I realized that I was not alone and not broken. One percent of people are born that way. Asexuality is not celibacy. Celibacy is a choice. Asexuality is an orientation just like being straight is orientation towards the opposite sex, and gay is and orientation towards the same sex. The asexual community associates themselves with dragons because people don't think they exist! Whoa.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg



    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    One of my favorite gifts from a student. It is a cartoon of what I would look like as a dog. The mom was afraid that I would be offended. I was honored!

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpgHello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg


    Having a dog has been the best therapy for me. I originally trained her to give therapy to others. The people my dog has introduced me to have helped rehabilitate me. She takes me hiking for miles and consistently reminds me to live in the moment.


    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg. Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg



    Following the adventures of Imagine Dragons has been good for me too. Memorizing song lyrics is a pretty effective way to quiet demons. To understand someone else's point of view. So few people have empathy. Having a theme song is a source of strength. It was difficult to choose which lyric from Imagine Dragons I wanted for a tattoo but I finally settled on, "I'm never changing who I am." Yes, it hurt very much. Imagine Dragons will always be a permanent part of my life.


    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg


    "Maybe you can save my soul
    Cause of all the things that I don't know?"
    Imagine Dragons
    Trouble

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg. Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    When Smoke and Mirrors was released some people were very critical and complained that there was no version of Radoactive on the new album. I liked the new album even better than the first. It was much more autobiographical. I didn't know anyone else in the world who would dare expose their innermost sources of pain, anxiety, struggles with faith, with relationships. (I shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that I loved. "Shots")

    Dan Reynolds asked for his fans to tell their stories and he set up an E-Mail account for the submissions.
    The stories were recorded in on camera interviews across the U.S. during the Smoke and Mirrors Tour and I submitted my story and offered to bring the dogs along. Ivory's pet parent agreed to let me share her story as well. Imagine my surprise when I got an E-Mail from Dan Reynolds saying that I was a finalist in the project. I completed the pre-interview with the producer and he scheduled the interview with Dan. I was still in disbelief that I was going to finally meet one of my musical heroes. My world was rocked two days later when I got another E-Mail saying the project was being shelved. I was unbelievably disappointed. But I still loved Imagine dragons and tattoo removal is very expensive! The only way I could see my favorite band was by going to a concert. A whole new level of stranger danger in a stadium that holds 20,562 people! Fortunately Ivory's mon agreed to go with me and to drive. She had never heard of a band called Imagine Dragons!

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg. Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg



    Meet and greets are awesome tornadoes of activity. I got to meet the band for a few seconds! I had to hug Dan even though I had no time to tell him who I was. No autographs allowed. No selfies with cell phones. Security kept our phones. But it was so perfect that the band members of Imagine Dragons are just as nice in person as they seem. Hundreds of fans were lined up for the meet and greet and we had to keep the line moving. I was on top of the world and the concert hadn't even started.

    Seeing Imagine Dragons live was the best night of my life. I experience people as energy and the energy in the arena was spectacular! I expected to listen to a concert but I was surprised when the whole audience sprang to their feet and sang along. The music was truly written to be played live. Dan even paused during the show to tease Ben because Ben's girlfriend was out in the audience. Dan also jumped off of the stage and sprinted to the top of the arena without missing a beat of the music and without losing his breath.
    I would say the only bad thing about going to a concert is the fact that you will very much want to see another concert.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg. Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    I can't thank Imagine Dragons enough for being a source of inspiration, and love and light in my life. It is a very indescribable thing to feel like a complete stranger has written a song about yourself! Although, Imagine Dragons are not strangers. I feel a little bit like they are my family. I used to think that I heard the beat of a different drummer (Love Ya Platzman!&#129412 but now I think it is amazing to be included. A fandom as big as the firebreathers is pretty unique too. The fans are a diverse and wonderful reflection of their favorite band. I am truly thankful for this musical journey. I can't wait to see where Dragons lead us next? The next album is due in 2017 and that is pretty +soon+

    "You said yourself fantastically, 'Congratulations, you were all alone.' Your time will come, if wait for it, if you wait for it. It's hard. Believe me I've tried."
    Imagine Dragons
    Amsterdam

  2. #2
    Administrator
    +Lisa+'s Avatar
    Real Name
    +Lisa+ bullmama
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    Sunny Tucson, Arizona
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    USA
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    Fav Dragon
    ALL OF THEM
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    Shots, Round & Round
    TrophiesHello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am! Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!
    Wow!!! What an awesome story, loved reading every word. I believe this qualifies as a member spotlight!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    "I'm a first class let down, I'm a shut up sit down..... I am a head case, I am the color of BOOM!"

  3. #3
    Moderator
    ringosmomma's Avatar
    Real Name
    Michelle
    Posts
    1,084
    Fav Dragon
    Dan (Lead Singer)
    Fav Song
    It's Time
    Thank you Lisa!
    It took me a while to find the words.
    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    Ivory's mom, Brenda.

    Hello My Dear Dragons! I'm Never Changing Who I Am!-image-jpg
    My first E-mail from a rock star!

    So, like most occasions, I have songs running through my head. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my story.
    I want to campaign against bullying, against violence, against hate. People sometimes die of shame. What a unique ability Imagine Dragons has to lift others. Wanna learn that. Want to be a child of love and light. I still haven't figured it all out. I have boughts of intense loneliness and I want to reach out to people and also boughts of introversion in which I just can't be around humans. Happy days punctuated by dark days. Days when I sing and days I can't find my voice. Imagine Dragons were some of the first people I found to also live in the realm of juxtaposition. Amazing. It does help me to hold on.


    ��There's a light that lines these halls
    That beckons us to stay
    A glimmer in the distance
    That gathers all the stray
    And when I need it most
    It breaks into a song
    That runs through all my veins
    And helps me to hold on

    Imagine Dragons
    Cover Up

    ��So tell me, tell me, tell me
    What am I to do?
    I think that this life is darker than the view
    So help me, help me, help me
    Be a little more like you
    When everything is falling
    I'm gonna do the things you do.

    Imagine Dragons
    Working Man

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    France
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    can't choose one!
    Wow... i'm very moved right now. Your story is really touching and shows that you are one strong and amazing soul.
    It's a pity that the interview didn't happen, I would have loved hearing you talk about it, just as Dan said. But shelved doesn't mean cancelled, right?
    Thank you for having put all of this into words, I know it must have been quite difficult to. I really wish we could meet!

  5. #5
    Moderator
    ringosmomma's Avatar
    Real Name
    Michelle
    Posts
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    Fav Dragon
    Dan (Lead Singer)
    Fav Song
    It's Time
    Thank you so much Sam! I'm a big believer in "Your time will come if you wait for it."
    Imagine Dragons
    Amsterdam
    Some days my demons are stronger than others :-(
    I always try to kind, even on bad days, because I know what it is like to feel like less than nothing. If one person can hear that and fell stronger, I have accomplished my goal. It is painful to talk of some of these things but people sometimes die of shame. Imagine Dragons and the firebreathers are a source of love and light!

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